It’s been one of those days. My stress level has been in the maxed out red zone all day as I have tried to do everything at once. The main focus was on Scouts. Parker had a fishing activity and got home in time for us to whisk him off to dinner and Pack Meeting. Nothing like an 11 hour day away from home.
Gavin’s den leaders sent an email this morning that still makes me mad. They waited until today to say that any boy turning 11 soon and therefore transitioning from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts would need a Boy Scout uniform tonight. Wow. Thanks for the heads up. “Oh and by the way, Pack Meeting actually starts at 6:30 and not 7:00. The Arrow of Light ceremony is a big deal and we will start on time so please don’t be late.” I would like to point out that leader was 15 minutes late.
My family arrived 10 minutes early so we set up chairs. No one knew where the chairs should go or how to arrange them. The only Scout leader present for a significant amount of time was a Bears leader who freely admits she has no idea what’s going on. So we set up chairs in rows for the families. We don’t feel bad at all for leaving the second Parker finished giving the closing prayer.
After stressing all day about how to get a Boy Scout uniform for tonight, it turns out we didn’t even need it. Heath was called in for jury duty but never chosen to be on a jury. He was told his service was complete at 11:00 this morning. He helped me get the uniform. I want it to go on record though that I was willing to do whatever it took to help Gavin be prepared for the Pack Meeting. Even if that meant driving to a place I never drive to in a city I never drive to. Boy was I glad Heath was home!
The Pack Meeting was long and tedious as they always are. Parker was the first to be recognized for earning his Wolf. He pinned it on my shirt. A bag of gummy bears still sat on the table and I was confused. The Wolf leader always gives the boys a bag of gummy bears when they leave Wolves to move on to Bears. There was no mention of the fact that Parker turns 9 in July and is done with Wolves. He also wasn’t given his religious knot. I was confused.
The religious knot came later in the meeting. Clearly an afterthought. I felt so bad for our friend in the Bishopric who took time to be there for the presentation. The bag of gummy bears was given to another boy who also has a summer birthday. I let it go. But the entire meeting felt disorganized and long. The longer it dragged on the more my enthusiasm crashed and burned.
Finally they finished passing out awards to the Wolves and Bears. The Webelos leaders came up and made a really big deal out of the boys who earned their Webelos award. It was the final stepping stone to earning the Arrow of Light award. That is the highest award possible for a Cub Scout to earn. Of course they should make a big deal out of the boys’ accomplishments. Gavin felt horrible.
The Arrow of Light Ceremony was next. It was disappointing to me only because the first time I saw it was so much better. Tonight the audience didn’t seem to care. Kids played loudly or talked or cried at the top of their lungs. No one bothered to shush them. The boys receiving the award giggled through the whole thing. A Native American ceremony put on by very white guys dressed up and enunciating clearly does seem odd and surprising. But still! Sense the tone boys! Gavin felt so horrible he was near tears. He wished he had worked to earn the award.
The final activity for the evening was the bridging ceremony. We were at the end of the line and started to question whether or not we had a right to be there. Everyone else in line had earned the Webelos award and the Arrow of Light. Gavin was the the only boy in line who had not been previously gushed over for his achievements. That email clearly stated that any boy who had already transitioned to 11 year old Scouts or would be soon would be bridging tonight. Gavin turns 11 in July. This is the last Pack Meeting for the school year and the only time they do these ceremonies. We stood our ground. The leader said nice things about Gavin the way he did for all the boys. I still question whether or not we were supposed to do that. It felt wrong.
What makes me mad is the shirt. Not a single one of those boys had a Boy Scout shirt to change into on the other side of the bridge. In fact as we arrived, the only leader there said something that made me feel stupid. She asked if I was bringing the treats since I was holding a bag. I told her it was the shirt we were supposed to bring for the bridging ceremony. She seemed confused and then told me her son barely squeaked by earning his Arrow of Light. His birthday is in a couple weeks and it was lucky he finished in time. That did-I-miss-something feeling only got worse as the night wore on.
Why did I freak out and pep talk myself into being ready to buy a shirt for Gavin if he didn’t need it tonight? Why did Heath and I drop $75 on a new uniform and book for our kid when he didn’t even need it tonight? What was with the late notice email about getting a uniform that was never going to be mentioned much less used? Why was there a paragraph all in bold about the bridging ceremony for all boys about to turn 11 if we were made to feel out of place for doing it?
I’m just so mad. We have a bunch of pictures that I don’t even want to look at right now. Gavin held it together all the way until we got home. Then the tears came. I feel horrible that he feels horrible. I thought I made it clear to my boys that if they want to do Scouts I will support them but I will not push them in any way. I told them again. That’s when Gavin cried. I feel like it’s my fault for not knowing what the requirements are. Heath kept pointing out that he has time. He has until July 5 to earn the Webelos award and the Arrow of Light. He can still do it if that’s what he wants. Trust me, if he does it will mean more to him than it did to those boys who giggled through their recognition.
Maybe I need to reiterate to my boys more often that they need to set the goals and accomplish them. I am here to help in any way I can but it’s up to them. I told them that their Wolf leader is very organized and calls me all the time telling me what they need to do to earn the Wolf award. I told them she is the only leader who does that. They both had her and now they have both moved on in age.
We all smell like campfire. We all feel bad for various reasons. To me remorse may always smell like campfire. What a crappy end to a very crappy day.